You’ve been in a car accident. Now what? Here’s how to achieve the best possible outcome.
1. Immediate aftermath
Stop your vehicle immediately
If you are involved in an accident and leave the scene, you may be subject to criminal investigation.
Check to see if anyone is injured
If there are injuries, don’t move the victim(s). Call 911, follow all directions and wait for help.
If it safe to do so, get out of your vehicle
Take pictures and video of the scene and damage. Record as much information as possible using our accident worksheet [PDF].
Move your car off the road
When it is safe, move your car onto the shoulder. If the car cannot be moved, turn on your hazard lights, or set up traffic cones, flares or flags if available.
Call police, if:
- There are injuries (Note: If there are injuries, do not move the victim(s). Wait for help to arrive)
- The total damage to all vehicles involved appears to be more than $2,000
- You suspect any drivers involved may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
2. Within 24 hours
Call a collision reporting centre (instead of police), if:
- There are no injuries
- Total damage to all vehicles appears to be less than $2,000
You will be asked to complete a police report, and damage to your vehicle will be photographed. You will need to provide this documentation to your insurance company.
Call your insurance company
Let your insurance company know what happened and ask for next steps. To understand the claims process, read After an Auto Accident: Understanding the Claims Process.
Always be prepared
Road accidents are always unexpected. Be prepared by keeping the following inside your vehicle at all times:
- Pen and paper
- FSRA’s accident worksheet [PDF]. (Print and keep a copy in your glove compartment. It will help you record valuable information on-scene.)
- Emergency road flares, warning triangles or cones
- Fire extinguisher (A-B-C Type)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Bottled water
- Booster cables
- Tire repair kit and pump
- Small tool kit
- Pair of work gloves
- Non-perishable food
- Hand wipes
- Thermal blanket
Watch out for tow truck scams!
If you have been in an accident and your vehicle is still on scene, be wary of unauthorized tow truck operators who may take advantage of your situation. Be prepared. Read our tips for avoiding tow truck and storage scams.